Thursday, July 21, 2011

Nicole Beharie's Broadway Debut in John Guare's "A Free Man of Color"

Nicole Beharie plays Margery in A Free Man of Color
John Guare's play A Free Man of Color ran from October 2010 until January 2011 at the Lincoln Center in NYC.  I was glad to catch the play back in November and thoroughly enjoyed it. 
Nicole Beharie played Margery, the slave country wife to the half-brother of the main character, Jacques Cornet, played by the wondrous Jeffrey Wright

If interested, scroll down to the bottom of this post to see a video with actor interviews, clips from the play along with a few audience reviews. Besides being shown in a few clips from the play, Nicole is not featured in any of the interviews. You can catch a 'glimpse' of her in the background around the 2:18 mark. :-)

Nicole shared some thoughts about the experience of working in the play in this interview by Bridget Bland of BlackVoices. Here are some excerpts: This is your first Broadway role. Were you nervous about making this transition from film?
Nicole Beharie:
Extremely nervous and honored, and like everyday, I thought, "They're gonna fire me" (laughs). Just playing. I'd think, "I can't believe I'm in this room," but, Broadway is a big thing. It's like your dream, and I went to Juilliard right across the street from Lincoln Center and every day I go to work, I also pass my alma mater and it just brings me back.

BV: Is there any downside to this hectic schedule?
You're on Broadway with cool people. It's like, yeah we do eight shows a week. We're doing a show on Christmas day, but we're telling a great story and audiences will be there and I just wouldn't fit in at a desk.

BV: If you weren't acting what would you be doing?
: I'd have a farm. I am into herbs and growing things and the cycles of the moon and maybe it's just a kick I'm on. I have my little windowpane herb garden and in the summer, I have my rooftop to make tomato and basil and make it happen. It all dies in the winter, honey.

BV: What have you learned doing 'A Free Man of Color?'
Generosity and vulnerability, comedy and wit from of all these people. I've learned things from George, our director. There are so many things that I've learned. It's just an experience that will forever be with me. The history of the play itself is a really important story to be told beyond my career. I think it is important it's being told right now and at this time with the political climate and [President] Barack Obama.

BV: How's it been working with Jeffrey Wright and Mos Def?
They have incredible skill and craftsmanship and they are extremely generous and there's no ego. They make it easy to jump in and play with them, and Jeffrey in the beginning could see I was nervous and would tell me to relax, especially because we have a scene where we roll around in the bed, and I was really nervous about it. But he was totally professional like, 'Child, this is easy, we can do it.' And he made it a lot of fun.


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